Three brothers with a proud family history of serving in the military are now preparing to leave the military after being denied religious exemptions for the Covid-19 vaccination.
The Misiura brothers all intended to serve their country as their father and grandfather did before them. Their grandfather was a Navy machinist in the Korean War, and their father was in the Air Force. Now, rather than carrying on the family legacy, the brothers are being forced to abandon their dream of fighting for American liberty while their country seems to have turned against them.
36-year-old David Misiura Jr. is an Air Force Reserve technical sergeant who has honorably served for 15 years and has been deployed four times – two of which were combat deployments in Iraq.
David’s brother, Josiah Misiura, 30, is also an Air Force Reserve technical sergeant. Josiah was deployed with David on one of his assignments in Iraq.
The third brother, Jonathan Misiura, is a 34-year-old private first class in the Army National Guard.
Air Force reservists were required to be vaccinated by December 2, 2021. David, the oldest, submitted a religious exemption request that was denied. He appealed the denial, but his appeal was rejected. He was then informed by his commander that he only had five days to either get the shot or submit a letter of refusal that would result in discharge.
David chose to write the letter of refusal, after 15 years of dedicated service.
“No man has authority over my God-give and American constitutional rights. No man has authority to overrule my sincerely-held religious beliefs and force me to break my conscience or my commitment to my God for any reason – let alone in the name of health or mission readiness. I will not be coerced, threatened, guilted, bullied, or otherwise persuaded to violate my conscience, disobey my God, or trample my basic right as a human being by subjecting my body with inoculation of an experimental biological agent that is derived from fetal cell lines, causes severe adverse reactions, including death to the user, and is non-effective against a virus with a 99.97 percent recovery rate.”
In March, David received his anticipated letter of reprimand, was given a citation for “Refusal to Obey a Lawful Order”, and is now pending discharge.
As punishment, he will lose the $500/month he currently earns, and miss out on the retirement benefits he would have gotten had he obtained just five more years of service.
“My plan was always to reach those 20 years of service and then reevaluate whether to stay in longer or get out and collect a pension,” David told The Epoch Times. “The Air Force has given me so many opportunities and good experiences. The Air Force has treated me very well, you know, up until this point. So many friendships, so many experiences and places to see. Just an overall great career.”
Josiah, also an Air Force reservist, has served for 12 years. He, like his brother, is facing the same ultimatum: write a letter of refusal or get the vaccine.
Jonathan Misiura, who only recently joined the military, faces a vaccination deadline of June 30, 2022, for the Army National Guard. Jonathan has submitted his religious exemption like his brothers but has not yet received a response.
“I just recently joined, fulfilling a lifelong desire to serve my country,” Jonathan said. “It was an easy decision to not get the shot. It doesn’t protect you from getting the virus or from spreading it. I am at the beginning stages of a religious exemption that I am confident will get denied, like so many others. I have a feeling I will get a denial shortly and then I can appeal that decision. After the appeal gets denied, they will kick me out.”
Although the brothers and their family have given so many years of service to their country, it is disappointing that they’re now expected to set aside their religious beliefs over a vaccination that doesn’t even work against the Covid virus.
“It’s been extremely disappointing,” David said. “I feel betrayed. I’ve given 15 years of service to a country and a military that has treated me well, that I have served well, and because I can’t capitulate on my religious convictions, it’s all being stripped away. I feel very betrayed.”
“For anyone, including the federal government, to tell me to go against those convictions, that could end up having eternal consequences,” he continued. “When our Founding Fathers came here to the American Colonies, part of that was an expression of faith and for the freedom of religion. Ultimately, I’m going to stand before God and answer, and be accountable for my actions in my lifetime. I’m not going to stand before the federal government when I die. I’m not going to stand before my family or my church. It’s going to be before my God, and you know, ultimately, we’re all going to be held accountable to God for what we do.”